American Presidential Candidature aspirants of both the principal parties i.e. Democratic and Republican Parties, have to mobilise millions of dollars for their Campaigns. While Donald Trump the apparent Winning Horse of the Republican Party, himself being a billionnaire estimated to have a networth of $5 billion to $10 billion, may not face a problem of fund-crunch. Ms. Hillary Clinton, the former First Lady of U.S., and the former Secretary of State, seems to have close connections with Wall Street, and hence she may not find funds for Campaigning a problem. But, ordinarily, this should not be the case for her principal Competitor Mr. Bernie Sanders.
Prima facie, Mr. Bernie Sanders appears to be a millionnaire, which means he can be anywhere between $1 million to $999.99 million. A $1 million person is a millionnaire. A $999.99 person is a millionnaire. Is there no difference? There is a near thousand-fold difference.
Of course, whether it is in U.S.A., or in India, or probably anywhere else in the world, no politician worth his salt, will spend in Elections from his pockets. Only fools will do. Hence, Dollars mobilised through Fund Mobilisation Drives, will play a key role. Then, automatically, there will be a problem of what is disclosed , and what is not disclosed.
More than 3/4ths of Mr. Bernie Sanders Campaign funds were said to have been mobilised from small donors, giving less than $200 each. There is also another claim, that most of his Campaign donations are of less than $50 per head. This information is not convincing.
In India also, Political Parties claim, mobilising bulk of their Election Funds from small donors of less than Rs. 20,000 each ($300 approx.), as it is legally mandatory to disclose names of donors, where individual donations are > Rs. 20,000/-.
We can only say "American Hypocracies and Indian Hypocracies are like twins".
Some of the questions, which I shall try to answer in a bunch of about 10 next blog posts.
Question 1: Are American Elections relevant to Indian Democracy (largest in the World in terms of number of voters)?
Answer: American Elections, definitely are relevant to INdia, because, India no longer looks to U.K., as guide for Indian Democracy, though India is still following the system of British Model of Parliamentary Democracy. Dream of every professionally educated Indian Youth is, to make it to U.S.A. whether direct, or through any other means. Whichever such Indian goes to U.S. never comes back. On the other hand he-she will start pontificating to India, how Indians should behave and conduct themselves. NRIs vie with one another for getting US Citizenships. Once they become US Citizens (Govt. of India calls these people PIOs (Persons of Indian Origin), and showers them great honors and praises. In their turn, the PIOs try to capture some prestigious assignments from the American Presidents, a share of the spoils. Recently, it appears that donations from US-based NRIs and PIOs started contributing greatly to the Election Campaigns of various Indian Political Parties.
Indian Students, unemployed persons, I.T. Companies, Govt. of India, State Govts., everybody has some sort of craze for the WHITE-HOUSE, and its occupant.
Rise of Barack Obama, raised the expectations of the Indians during the last nine years, but nothing real or substantial, helpful to India took place. Nor did U.S., apparently benefited much from the election of Mr. Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India.
A NOTE ON ROLE OF MONEY and NEED FOR MONEY
Both United States and India are geographically vast countries, though U.S. is far larger geographically than India. But then, the number of voters to be contacted in India are many times higher than the number of voters in U.S. Consequently, the financial burden which falls on aspirants will be nearly equal.
In United States, the system of Parties deciding their Presidential Candidates through some democratic method, needs to be emulated in India. In India, there is no democratic method for parties to select their "Prime Ministerial" Candidates by conducting polls from Lok Sabha Constituency Level. Though, theoretically, after the announcement of Election Results, Members of Parliament belonging to the Majority Party (or the single largest party) are supposed to elect their leader who will approach the President of India for forming a Government, it has become a ritual for dynastic politics.
Though BJP does not ostensibly profess dynastic politics, yet it has no bottom-to-top democratic method of electing a Prime Ministerial Candidate for the Party. The method followed by BJP in 2014 General Elections is a sort of coterie (grupo / circulo social), for pre-announcing of Mr. Narendra Modi as PM Candidate, and definitely not a democratic method.
Both in US, as well as in India, much money is required for organising Rallies and Road Shows, Chartered Aircraft, Cutouts and Flexies etc. etc. Need for money leads to dependence on Business Empires and Industrialists for secret donations. Theoretically, industrialists do not and will not like to fund Campaigns of Communists and True Socialists, unless an assurance is given to them that if elected, Communist MPs will also work to promote donor interests.
Like the Parties in US, the Parties in India also preach a lot and violate a lot. For example, AAP Leader, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal raised some hopes after his phoenix-like revival-resurrection in Delhi Assembly Elections. He proved to be a concealed dictator, like a wolf in a goat's skin. For example, AAP Government seems to be paying large amounts for publication of Special Supplements in South Indian Newspapers, to advertise their achievements in ruling Delhi. It is nothing but waste of money belonging to THE CITIZENS OF DELHI. What is the advertising budget of AAP Government in Delhi? Rs. 526 crore (about $90 million!). The hidden Agenda in this is: AAP wants to expand into South India.
A lot to write more.
Subject to substantial Revision, additions and deletions. To continue and revise this, with more proof.. सशेष. సశేషం.